tagged w/ Subpoena
On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported that the U.S. Department of Justice issued a subpoena yesterday for the testimony of a New York Times reporter in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA operations officer accused of leaking classified information, highlighting a trend of government attempts to use journalists’ testimony in cases against government employees who reveal government information in exchange for anonymity.On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported... more
Twitter introduced a new feature last month without telling anyone about it, and the rest of the tech world should take note and come up with their own version of it. Twitter beta-tested a spine.
On Friday it emerged that the US government recently got a court order demanding that Twitter turn over information about a number of people connected to WikiLeaks, including founder Julian Assange, accused leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning, former WikiLeaks spokeswoman Birgitta Jonsdottir, and WikiLeaks activist Jacob Appelbaum.
The request was approved by a magistrate judge in Alexandria, Virginia where a federal grand jury is looking into charges against WikiLeaks related to its acquisition and publishing of US government classified information.
The court order came with a gag order that prevented Twitter from telling anyone, especially the target of the order, about the order's existence.
To Twitter's credit, the company didn't just open up its database, find the information the feds were seeking (such as the IP and email addresses used by the targets) and quietly continue on with building new features. Instead the company successfully challenged the gag order in court, and then told the targets that their data was being requested, giving them time to try and quash the order themselves.
Twitter and other companies, notably Google, have a policy of notifying a user before responding to a subpoena, or a similar request for records. That gives the user a fair chance to go to court and try and quash the subpoena. That's a great policy. But it has one fatal flaw. If the records request comes with a gag order, the company can't notify anyone. And it's quite routine for law enforcement to staple a gag order to a records request.
That's what makes Twitter's move so important. It briefly carried the torch for its users during that crucial period when, because of the gag order, its users couldn't carry it themselves. The company's action in asking for the gag order to be overturned sets a new precedent that we can only hope that other companies begin to follow.
The decision would be laudable in almost any situation, and may even be unprecedented by a massive tech firm. The only other gag orders that I can think of that were challenged in court was one served on the Internet Archive, one on a small library, and another served on Nicholas Merrill, the president of the small NYC-based ISP Calyx Internet Access, who spent years resisting a National Security Letter order seeking information about one of his clients.
Even more remarkable, Twitter's move comes as a litany of companies, including PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and Bank of America, follow the political winds away from the First Amendment, banning donations to WikiLeaks. And Amazon.com voluntarily threw the site off its hosting platform, even though there's nothing illegal in publishing classified documents.
By standing up for its users, Twitter showed guts and principles. Much of it is likely attributable to Twitter's general counsel Alexander Macgillivray. As security and privacy blogger Christopher Soghoian notes, Macgillivray was one of the first law students at Harvards' Berkman internet law centre and at in his previous job at Google "played a major role in getting the company to contribute takedown requests to chillingeffects.org."
Macgillivray declined to comment to Wired through Twitter's spokeswoman.
Of course, it's not the first time tech companies have stood up to requests for user data. Google beat back a government order to turn over search logs in 2006, after AOL and Microsoft quietly acquiesced. We've seen ISPs stand up for their users when movie studios try to force ISPs turn over user information in mass peer-to-peer lawsuits. And just last year, Yahoo successfully resisted the Justice Department's argument that it didn't need a warrant to read a user's emails once the user had read them once.
But there's not yet a culture of companies standing up for users when governments and companies come knocking with subpoenas looking for user data or to unmask an anonymous commenter who says mean things about a company or the local sheriff.
In the WikiLeaks probe, it's not yet clear whether the feds dropped the same order on other companies.
Regardless, Twitter deserves recognition for its principled upholding of the spirit of the First Amendment. It's a shame that PayPal, Amazon, Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America and the US government all failed -- and continue to fail -- at their own versions of that test.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-01/11/twitter-subpoena-reactionTwitter introduced a new feature last month without telling anyone about it, and the... more
At this rate ,US may subpoena Osama on Wiki leaks!
http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/subpoena-osama/At this rate ,US may subpoena Osama on Wiki leaks!... more
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER
LONDON (AP) -- U.S. officials have issued a subpoena to demand details about WikiLeaks' Twitter account, the group announced Saturday, adding that it suspected other American Internet companies were also being ordered to hand over information about its activities.
In a statement, WikiLeaks said U.S. investigators had gone to the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. to demand the private messages, contact information and other personal details of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other supporters, including the U.S. Army intelligence analyst suspected of handing classified information to the site and a high-profile Icelandic parliamentarian.
WikiLeaks blasted the court order, saying it amounted to harassment.
"If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out," Assange said in the statement.
A copy of the court order, dated Dec. 14 and posted to Salon.com, said the information sought was "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation" and ordered Twitter not to disclose its existence to Assange or any of the others targeted.
The order was unsealed "thanks to legal action by Twitter," WikiLeaks said.
Twitter has declined comment on the claim, saying only that its policy is to notify its users, where possible, of government requests for information.
Others named in the order include Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private suspected of being the source of some of WikiLeaks' material, as well as Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic lawmaker and one-time WikiLeaks collaborator known for her role in pioneering Iceland's media initiative - which aims to make the North Atlantic island nation a haven for free speech.
The U.S. is also seeking details about Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp and U.S. programmer Jacob Appelbaum, both of whom have previously worked with WikiLeaks.
Assange has promised to fight the order, as has Jonsdottir, who said in a Twitter message that she had "no intention to hand my information over willingly." Appelbaum, whose Twitter feed suggested he was traveling in Iceland, said he was apprehensive about returning to the U.S.
"Time to try to enjoy the last of my vacation, I suppose," he tweeted.
more at LINK - - -
http://hosted.ap.org/photos/5/5c409645-58e0-4d3a-a794-fa07f470e992-small.jpgBy RAPHAEL G. SATTER Associated Press LONDON (AP) -- U.S. officials have issued a... more
The former Illinois governor accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat asked a judge Thursday to require the president to testify at his upcoming corruption trial.
Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich argued that Obama has "direct knowledge" of the alleged plot to auction the coveted seat to the highest bidder and that his testimony is critical for a fair trial.
"First, President Obama contradicts the testimony of an important government witness," they wrote in a heavily redacted court filing.
"Second, President Obama's testimony is relevant to the necessary element of intent of the defendant. Third, President Obama is the only one who can say if emissaries were sent on his behalf, who those emissaries were, and what, if anything, those emissaries were instructed to do on his behalf."
Obama, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, has insisted that neither he nor his staff were involved in the alleged pay-to-play politics.
The scandal, which broke two months after Obama won the November 4, 2008 election, scandal shone a national spotlight on the culture of corruption in Illinois.
Five of the past nine Illinois governors have been indicted or arrested for fraud or bribery and Blagojevich's predecessor, Republican George Ryan, is currently serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for fraud and racketeering.
Blagojevich, 52, is accused of engaging in a pattern of pay-to-play politics which began before he was even elected governor in 2002.
The Illinois state legislature ousted Blagojevich from office for abuse of power in a unanimous vote after the allegations came to light in December 2008.
The colorful governor skipped his impeachment trial and has pleaded not guilty to two dozen charges of conspiracy, extortion, fraud and bribery.
He most recently made headlines with a brief stint on Celebrity Apprentice, where his legendary bouffant hairdo played opposite that of Donald Trump.
The case is expected to go to trial in June.The former Illinois governor accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama's... more
In dual developments that underscored the complex reality of stressful financial times, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it returned to taxpayers a record $46 billion in profit from its rescue of the financial system, while a congressional committee announced that it had subpoenaed controversial bailout documents from the central bank.
In a statement, the Fed revealed that its district banks had made a $52 billion profit in 2009 from the purchase of government securities as part of efforts to stabilize the U.S. and global financial systems.
After deductions, $46 billion was returned to taxpayers through a payment to the Treasury Department.
Such welcome news was quickly eclipsed by word that the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government would subpoena documents relating to the Fed's rescue of insurer American International Group.
Shortly afterward, the top Republican on the panel, California Rep. Darrell Issa, released a letter showing that the Fed has sought to block the release of certain AIG information.
"Clearly they have something to hide; what that is we hope to find out," said Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Issa.
A Federal Reserve official declined to discuss the details, but pledged to cooperate with Congress.
"We will work with the committee to provide relevant information as appropriate," said Deborah Kilroe, a spokeswoman for the New York Fed.
The New York Fed has belatedly confirmed that it secretly paid $62 billion to American and European banks to settle at full value exotic bets — called credit-default swaps — guaranteed by AIG. McClatchy first reported in April that this decision came after European banks refused to settle for less and the New York Fed decided to pay at face value.
The letter that Issa made public came from Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program_ the $700 billion taxpayer bailout of the banking sector that Congress passed in October 2008.
Barofsky wrote Tuesday to tell Issa that as a condition of the Fed sharing information with the TARP watchdog agency, he was prohibited from sharing that information with Congress unless authorized by the Fed.
The Fed "directed us not to provide you with the document that it has provided to us," Barofsky wrote.
The House committee has called Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to testify later this month about why AIG payments were made to big investment banks in what appears to have been a back-door bailout. Geithner headed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the time.
The House panel's aggressive inquiry reflects widespread anger at the Fed.
"I don't recall anytime in my lifetime that the antipathy toward the Fed was as great as it is now," said Lyle Gramley, a Fed governor from 1980 to 1985.
Widespread populist outrage directed at the central bank explains why Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is facing strong political opposition despite his largely successful efforts during the past two years to prevent a complete collapse of the financial system. Bernanke's expected to be reconfirmed for another four-year term soon, but he's also likely to have a high number of senators voting against him.
Most of the Fed's record profit last year came from the rising value of mortgage-backed securities it had bought to stabilize the economy. By this March, the Fed will have completed the purchase of $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
The Fed purchased these securities in an effort to keep the nation's housing market afloat. Fannie and Freddie are in government conservatorship, making them in effect federal lending entities. The Fed purchases the safest, top-rated securities to ensure that banks can underwrite mortgages and not have to retain them on their balance sheets.
Mortgage-backed securities have greater investor returns than conventional Treasury bonds, but could become money losers for the Fed if home prices fall further in coming years.In dual developments that underscored the complex reality of stressful financial... more
As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S.-bound plane and try to blow it up on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.
TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.
Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.
''It literally showed up in my box,'' Frischling told The Associated Press. ''I do not know who it came from.'' He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect.
In a Dec. 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them. Elliott did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The TSA declined to say how many people were subpoenaed.
The directive was dated Dec. 25 and was issued after a 23-year-old Nigerian man was charged with attempting to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam. The bomb, which allegedly was hidden in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear, malfunctioned and no one was killed. Authorities said the device included a syringe and a condom-like bag filled with powder that the FBI determined to be PETN, a common explosive.
The near-miss attack has prompted President Barack Obama to order a review of what intelligence information the government had about Abdulmutallab and why it wasn't shared with the appropriate agencies. He also ordered a review of U.S. aviation security. The government has spent billions of dollars and undergone massive reorganizations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
The TSA directive outlined new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the airliner incident. It included many procedures that would be apparent to the traveling public, such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline.
It also listed people who would be exempted from these screening procedures such as heads of state and their families.
This is the second time in a month that the TSA has found some of its sensitive airline security documents on the Internet.As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a... more
For the third time, the former Bush official – and newly crowned king of D.C. Twitterers – failed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify about his alleged involvement in the firing of U.S. Attorneys and the alleged political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.For the third time, the former Bush official – and newly crowned king of D.C.... more
Lawyer: Rove won't take the Fifth if he testifies
Representatives of the Bush White House are no longer advising former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that he is protected by executive privilege as regards testimony about the alleged political prosecution of an Alabama governor.
In an exchange with Raw Story, Rove’s Washington, D.C. attorney, Robert Luskin, also said Rove won’t invoke his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination, if and when he testifies about the firing of nine US Attorneys and the prosecution of the former governor.
There's “been speculation that he would decline to answer questions on Fifth Amendment grounds,” Luskin said. “That's a personal privilege; he will not assert it.”
Asked if he had a comment on Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) proposed “truth commission,” in which Bush officials would be offered immunity in exchange for testimony, Luskin said, “No.”Lawyer: Rove won't take the Fifth if he testifies Representatives of the Bush... more
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove a third time, asking him to appear Monday, Feb. 23 for a deposition to testify about his knowledge about the US Attorney firings and the alleged political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
"Pursuant to my letter to you of Jan. 29, 2009, and your agreement to accept service on behalf of Karl Rove, I am enclosing a subpoena for Mr. Rove to appear and provide testimony by deposition on Feb. 23, 2009, at 10:00am in room 2138 of the Rayburn House Office Building," Conyers wrote Robert Luskin, Rove's D.C. Attorney.House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove a third... more
Ed Genson, attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has requested subpoenas of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and more than a dozen others, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.Ed Genson, attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has requested subpoenas of Rep.... more
Open the books. Let's see what was really going on.
"So, I guess, Bush really is a dictator. I will put my money on the Doctors Juris' Obama and Biden up against the high-functioning retards Bush and Cheney." - Bansheewail"So, I guess, Bush really is a dictator. I will put my money on the Doctors... more
Seven of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's top aides are defying subpoenas for their testimony into possible abuse of power by the governor. Palin's Chief of Staff Mike Nizich and six other aides have failed to appear at a legislative hearing Friday into whether Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this summer,
Alaska Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French, a Democrat, waited 30 minutes Friday before reading a statement that the witnesses could be found in contempt when the full Legislature convenes in January.
Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg filed a lawsuit on behalf of the seven state workers Thursday challenging the subpoenas. He claims the committee has no jurisdiction to issue subpoenas in the investigation.
Seven of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's top aides are defying subpoenas for their... more
Bill O'Reilly, Wednesday night, calling for the arrest of Gawker's owners and managers:
"The website knows the law, and says 'you know -- I'm going to do it anyway. I dare you to come get me.'"
Associated Press today, on Todd Palin's refusal to comply with the Alaska State Senate's subpoena:
"Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband has refused to testify in the investigation of his wife's alleged abuse of power, and key lawmakers said Thursday that uncooperative witnesses are effectively sidetracking the probe until after Election Day."
Todd Palin, who participates in state business in person or by e-mail, was among 13 people subpoenaed by the Alaska Legislature. Palin's lawyer sent a letter to the lead investigator saying Palin objected to the probe and would not appear to testify on Friday. . . .
Ignoring a legislative subpoena is punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail under Alaska law. But courts are reluctant to intervene in legislative matters and the full Legislature must be in session to bring contempt charges, Wielechowski said. The Legislature is not scheduled to convene until January.
It is illegal in the State of Alaska to fail to comply with legislative subpoenas. But Todd Palin has announced he will do exactly that which the law prohibits for one simple reason -- because nothing can be done about it until after the election, and even then, it's unlikely much will be done to punish him for breaking the law. Sarah Palin has similarly ordered all of her aides to refuse to comply with these subpoenas even though doing so is illegal, because she, too, doubts there will be consequences for this illegal behavior. Or, as Bill O'Reilly put it in his righteous Rule of Law tirade: "I'm going to do it anyway. I dare you to come get me."
There is no doubt that the Legislature has the right to investigate and that these Subpoenaas are lawfully issued. Before Palin was selected as Vice President, virtually everyone in Alaska -- including her -- agreed that the Legislature could and should investigate these allegations. From The Anchorage Daily News, July 29, 2008:
"The governor has said all along that she will fully cooperate with an investigation and her staff will cooperate as well," [Palin spokeswoman Sharon] Leighow said. . . .
Supporters as well as detractors of the Republican governor generally agreed the legislative investigation is needed into the circumstances leading up to Monegan's dismissal. . . .
Sen. Gene Therriault of North Pole, leader of the small Republican Senate minority that generally has backed Palin's policies, said he expects the governor will cooperate, and if she's cleared, the investigation could strengthen her. . . . Senate President Lyda Green, a Wasilla Republican and member of the Legislative Council, said the investigation is "absolutely" needed.
In August, Palin even praised herself for only suspending, rather than firing, one of her top aides who demanded -- in a recorded telephone call -- that the Police Commissioner fire her ex-brother-in-law by making this argument: "'While he is a state employee the governor can direct him to cooperate with [the Legislature's investigator], fulfilling her pledge that the administration will cooperate fully with the investigation,' [Palin spokesman] McAllister said."
Bill O'Reilly, Wednesday night, calling for the arrest of Gawker's owners... more
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband has refused to testify in the investigation of his wife's alleged abuse of power, and key lawmakers said Thursday that uncooperative witnesses are effectively sidetracking the probe until after Election Day.
Todd Palin, who participates in state business in person or by e-mail, was among 13 people subpoenaed by the Alaska Legislature. Palin's lawyer sent a letter to the lead investigator saying Palin objected to the probe and would not appear to testify on Friday.
"The objections boil down to the fact that the Legislative Council investigation is no longer a legitimate investigation because it has been subjected to complete partisanship and does not operate with the authority that it had at the time of its initial authorization," McCain-Palin presidential campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan said.
Sarah Palin initially welcomed the bipartisan investigation into accusations that she dismissed the state's public safety commissioner because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. "Hold me accountable," she said.
But she has increasingly opposed it since Republican presidential candidate John McCain tapped her as his running mate. The McCain campaign dispatched a legal team to Alaska including O'Callaghan, a former top U.S. terrorism prosecutor from New York to bolster Palin's local lawyer.
In the letter, Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein lists nine objections to the Legislature's investigation into Gov. Palin. Van Flein also argues the subpoena is "unduly burdensome" because Palin has travel plans that require him to be out of the state.
Earlier this week, Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg said the governor, who was not subpoenaed, declined to participate in the investigation and said Palin administration employees who have been subpoenaed would not appear.ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband has refused to... more
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The abuse of power investigation against Sarah Palin, Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate, took a potentially ominous turn for her party on Friday when state lawmakers voted to subpoena her husband.
Republican efforts to delay the probe until after the Nov. 4 election were thwarted when GOP State Sen. Charlie Huggins, who represents Palin's hometown of Wasilla, sided with Democrats. "Let's just get the facts on the table," said Huggins, who appeared in camouflage pants to vote during a break from moose hunting.
The Senate committee acted at the request of investigator Stephen Branchflower, who is gathering evidence on whether Gov. Palin abused her power by firing Walt Monegan, the state's director of public safety. Critics charge she fired Monegan after he refused to dismiss Mike Wooten, a state trooper who had a messy divorce from the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was let go because of a budget dispute.
Thomas Van Flein, the Palins' private attorney now representing her as governor, did not immediately return calls for comment. In a broadcast interview, Palin said she welcomed the investigation.
"There's nothing to hide," she said in an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson. "Commissioner Monegan has said, 'The governor never asked me to fire him, the governor's husband never asked me to fire him,' and we never did. I never pressured him to hire or fire anybody."
Branchflower said he wants to interview the governor, but omitted her from the 13-person list of subpoena targets he presented to the lawmakers overseeing his investigation.ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The abuse of power investigation against Sarah Palin, Alaska... more
Vincent Bugliosi is an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants accused of the Tate-LaBianca murders. His most recent books are Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (2007), and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (2008).Vincent Bugliosi is an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting... more
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed several former senior Justice Department attorneys for an investigation into the politicization of the Department's own Civil Rights Division, according to sources close to the investigation.
The extraordinary step by the Justice Department of subpoenaing attorneys once from within its own ranks was taken because several of them refused to voluntarily give interviews to the Department Inspector General, which has been conducting its own probe of the politicization of the Civil Rights Division, the same sources said.
The grand jury has been investigating allegations that a former senior Bush administration appointee in the Civil Rights Division, Bradley Schlozman, gave false or misleading testimony on a variety of topics to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sources close to the investigation say that the grand jury is also more broadly examining whether Schlozman and other Department officials violated civil service laws by screening Civil Rights attorneys for political affiliation while hiring them.
click link to read moreA federal grand jury has subpoenaed several former senior Justice Department attorneys... more
ANP: Rove could be held in contempt of Congress.
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Karl Rove in contempt of Congress after repeated efforts to get him to testify under oath. Now the decision to take the matter to the House floor for vote lies with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She says she won't consider the resolution until September but public pressure is mounting. Is Karl Rove headed to jail?ANP: Rove could be held in contempt of Congress. The House Judiciary Committee has... more